Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hide your stuff by creating a safety vault on your computer - Part 1

Lets face it, we all wanted a folder on our computer that we wished no one else have access to. A folder that holds our very important work files, personal email or chat logs or may be our collection of naughty videos and pictures, needs a level of security that can give us a peaceful sleep. But how do we actually protect our private folder, well for one, we could use zillions of software available for this purpose. My personal favorite among those zillions of software is TrueCrypt. TrueCrypt is a free, open source software that is available for all platforms. What TrueCrypt does is, it encrypts an entire partition or a USB flash drive, with such a strong algorithm that even if FBI happens to get their hands on your private data, they will have to scratch their grey cells for months to break it!! But, what if you don't want to use any third party software ? Are our Operating Systems equipped with any such mechanisms that will allow us to create a safety vault for our private files ? Read on..

In Mac OS X, there exists Disk Utility that will help us create an encrypted partition and in Windows, however we will use a smart way of redirection to a system folder. Let me first begin with Mac OS X, Windows will follow up in my Part 2 of this article. Follow the exact steps in Mac OS X Leopard :

  1. Launch the Disk Utility from the /Applications/Utilities folder

  2. Select New Disk Image from the file menu

  3. You will be required to enter a name for the encrypted disk that will be created, lets name it MyStuff. Remember that MyStuff will be a disk image and hence will be saved as MyStuff.dmg.

  4. Choose the location where you will like the disk image to be created, by selecting a location from the device listing on the left.

  5. For the Volume Size, select a size that will have enough space to fit in all your stuff, for reference purpose I chose 660MB, you should choose a higher value.

  6. For Volume Format, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

  7. For Encryption, choose either 128 bit AES or 256 bit AES, I don't have a problem with FBI so I chose 128 bit AES Encryption.

  8. For Partition, choose Single Partition- Apple Partition Map

  9. For Image Format, you choose read/write disk image, so that you can add and delete contents to MyStuff.

  10. Next click on the Create button.

  11. When prompted, enter a password. Remember your password is your key, so make it as jumbled as possible so that guessing the password makes no sense. Use a good combination of characters, numbers and special characters with both upper and lower case.

  12. Click OK and your disk will be created at the location specified.

NOTE: Never click on Remember password or add to keychain as this will enable anyone to access your image just by clicking it.

Now your safety vault MyStuff.dmg is created and every time you want to access it, just double click on it and enter the password. When you are done with it just select the mounted MyStuff and press CMD + E to eject or simply reboot/shutdown. Now dump all your all your Playmate videos and have a peaceful sleep.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

DVD Review: Iron Man

To the people who say, 'Oh man, not another Super hero movie!', I'd say, come on people wake up! Super hero movies have adapted so well to the latest advancement in technology, computer graphics and animations that it has become really difficult for the audience to differentiate between reality and Special Effect wizardry. Spiderman has set a standard for superhero movies and every superhero movie that came after it has left the audience mesmerized. Its just unbelievable how creative the folks in Hollywood are, they churn out half a dozen superhero movies every year and they all turnout to be money spinners for the studios! So, where does our Iron Man stand ? Or does it manage to find some place at all ??

The Plot

Robert Downey plays Tony Stark, a billionaire playboy, owner of Stark Industries which produce advanced weapons for the United States Military. Tony is kidnapped by terrorist while he is demonstrating the Jericho missile in Afghanistan. These terrorist are not shown as the ones carrying out Jihad against the West but rather they are shown as villians terrorizing an Afghan villiage. Apparently these terrorist want Tony to make the Jericho missile for them. From here the plot unfolds where Tony realizes that the weapons he created are not just being used by America but are also secretly being sold to these terrorist who carry out terror plans. He has a change of mind, he creates an armor to escape from the cave, where he is kept in holding. How he escapes, redesigns the armor, fights the bad guys is what the rest of the story is. I don't like story telling and so you need to watch this movie to know what happens next.

The highs and the lows

The director Jon Favreau does his job brilliantly with a very perfect cast. The highlight of the movie is Robert Downey's role as Tony Stark, I mean the man gives life to Tony Stark. His performance is so authentic that you feel no one else would have done enough justice to Tony Stark than Downey. The other highlight of the movie are the special effects used in the movie, some of the sequences are simply mind-blowing especially the one where Tony saves the life of Fighter Pilot. Equally fantastic is the scene where Tony trains himself with his newly designed armor. And last but certainly not the least is the character of Miss Pepper Potts played by the very beautiful Gwyneth Paltrow. She plays Tony's selfless personal assistant with loads of cuteness on her radiant face. Gwyneth Paltrow looks a Stunner when she wears a blue dress in the movie, trust me when I say this 'She looked edible in the blue dress'. I mean real mouth watering edible!!

The movies single biggest flaw is the storyline. The script manages to cover its flaw with some witty dialogues and electric performance by Robert Downey but the story line is not convincing enough. Take this, the terrorist are not shown as having some agenda, they are just there as villians who terrorize a village and add this to the fact that they are shown as using the super advanced Jericho missile for such a thing. How could any organization other than the Military have capability to posses and use such advanced weapons is beyond my comprehension, let alone those terrorists who live in a cave!! There is this stupid scene where Tony, after surviving a missile attack, unbuttons his shirt to reveal a bullet proof jacket. But then people this is a super hero movie and we expect entertainment from a superhero movie and this movie has loads of entertainment for you.

Who should watch this movie ?
  • If you like comics and if you are a fan of superhero movies, you shouldn't miss this movie for anything in this world
  • If you like me have a strong appetite for Hollywood ladies you should watch the stunner of Gwyneth Paltrow in blue dress although I must say she should have some extended role in the movie.
  • If you are a porn addict, give yourself a life and take some time off those ass-pounding whore movies and watch this ass-kicking super hero move.
Who shouldn't watch this movie ?

Nobody, I mean nobody!!

The Verdict

I firmly believe that this movie has been over rated, more so by Rotten Tomatoes, who have given it 93%. While I completely agree this movie is an entertainer, lets not forget that this isn't a groundbreaking movie as well. I'd personally give this fantastic entertainer * * * out of 5 forgetting the fact that there is no Hollywood Kiss in this movie!!